Simon Scott: Bunny
Miasmah Records

A natural step beyond 2009's Navigare, Simon Scott's Bunny distances the Cambridge-based producer even further from any shoegaze associations established by his now long-ago tenure in Slowdive. Admittedly, traces of shoegaze do surface now and then, though in obscured fashion, but Bunny's focus is more on a kind of surrealistic scene-painting rooted in psychedelic rock and sonic collage, with the album's eight pieces unfolding like blurred disturbances welling up from the unconscious. That's never more apparent than during pieces such as “Black Western Lights” and “Gamma” where conventional notions of rhythm are suspended for rippling textural flows of cinematic evocation.

With a mournful wordless vocal as midwife, “AC Waters” rises from the murk and creeps into being amidst spooked-out noise textures and scabrous scrapes and rustlings, the track more collage-oriented than song-structured. Rather more straightforward in construction is “Betty,” which uses a jazzy walking bass line as a springboard for a grime-laden plunge into psychedelic blues-rock that finds Scott's raw guitar wailing like a banshee. The slightly slower-moving “Radiances” likewise gives its psychedelic blues-rock an injection of venom in that what starts out as reasonably conventional material combusts into a black hole of pulsating textures that seethe for minutes on end. With no compromise to textural density, “Labano” brings the intensity level down for a downtempo exercise in lounge jazz, while the initially ear-piercing “Drilla” gradually comes inot focus as a searing shoegaze-cum-blues jam. (The vinyl release also includes a ten-minute bonus track that embeds Scott's guitar textures within an arhythmic flow of ambient hiss and reverb-heavy dreamscaping.)

That Bunny takes some degree of inspiration from David Lynch's work is signified by the title “Betty,” the name of the central character in Mulholland Drive. In keeping with that Lynchian sensibility, there's a smoky jazz lounge quality to Scott's material that's reinforced when the recognizable root sounds of acoustic bass, cymbals, cello, and electric guitars occasionally rise to the surface of the sprawling mass. It must needs be said, however, that, for all its dark intensity, Bunny isn't without a sense of humour, as shown by the choice of album title and the nightmarish sound design given “Honeymoon.”

January 2012